Hello fellow adventurers,
In the past, I’ve discussed methods that I use to combat my anxiety: watching funny T.V. shows, talking with friends and family, coloring, and playing games. Today, I want to go into more detail about the games.
Before I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and put into treatment, I suffered a lot of physical symptoms that were unresponsive to medications specifically designed to stop those symptoms. At night, I would wake up several times with severe nausea and stomach pain; I never threw up though, not once. The doctors did test after test and each time they came back normal. I was suffering from terrible aliments but I was, apparently, as healthy as one can be. So during those months where I had no answers, I lost a lot of sleep. I spent a large chunk of my nights in the bathroom just sitting on the floor nauseous and terrified to move. If you’ve never experienced this, it gets boring. Take my word for it. One day, I begun to do the Sudoku puzzles that came in the newspapers everyday, and then downloaded an app on my phone.
This app was kind of my saving grace; it did more for my nausea than any of the medicines I ever tried. It’s called Sudoku Master by CanadaDroid and it’s great. The game has four difficulty levels and two Modes, Classic and Casual. If it was even possible, after discovering this app I became glued to my phone even more. I spent the majority of my phone usage from spring of my senior year through mid-fall semester of last year, playing this game. Then I discovered 2048 which is my latest and greatest obsession.
To do well in both of these games you have to focus, and really think your moves through. I guess what I’m really saying is that it’s difficult to focus on these games and something else at the same time. They also can get a bit repetitive. After a while of playing Sudoku, I’ve found myself questioning why I’m even playing it, “I’m just placing numbers on a board. What’s the point?”. The point is this: once I started playing Sudoku, I could play a game or two and then get off the bathroom floor and crawl back into bed. Instead of spending hours down there, my stomach pains and nausea would go away in under 45 minutes. I didn’t know it then because I wasn’t educated on anxiety and mental illness but I had found a way to cope; a way to numb my mind into forgetting whatever it was that was causing me to subconsciously freak out.
Even now, although I’ve been in treatment for over a year, I still get anxious and still get stomach pains. Luckily, these apps still help. I get “playfully” teased about playing 2048 all of the time and I don’t mind, it doesn’t hurt my feelings or anything. When I play it though, it’s usually because I’m anxious and need to distract myself. Last year it was Sudoku, this year it’s 2048. When you find something that works, you don’t just stop using it.
I’m not trying to be rude when I randomly start playing them but, I am trying and (mostly)succeeding at coping with a difficult environment that brews inside of me daily.
What do you use as a distraction? Are there any apps that you find helpful? Let me know and please share for other readers! Until next time!